This data set includes precipitation chemisty from 20 funnel collectors on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Variables measured include volume, NO3-N, NH4-N, SO4, Cl, Na, K, Ca, Mg, and PO4. The sample interval depends on the frequency of significant precipitations events. Field collection of precipitation chemistry samples occurred as soon after a significant precipitation event as possible (usually within a week after the event). In some cases collection of precipitation chemistry samples occurred more often than meteorlogical station samples (summer, fall), and sometimes less often (winter, spring). Precipitation chemistry samples were collected only when there was enough sample to allow for complete chemical analysis, (usually greater than 100mls). After 1995 all samples continued to be collected for volume but only an a partial set of the samples continued to be analyzed for inorganic nutrients.


Other Identifier


Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier


Document Type



This dataset was originally published on the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Data Portal,, and potentially via other repositories or portals as described. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source data package is doi:10.6073/pasta/b7f2ded6f72028d98d361f5bfc33b739, and may be accessed at Metadata and files included in this record mirror as closely as possible the source data and documentation, with the provenance metadata and quality report generated by the LTER portal reproduced here as '*-provenance.xml' and *-report.html' files, respectively.


Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (


Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Project


Temporal coverage

1989-01-01 - 1990-01-01

Spatial coverage

Location: Five Points is the area which encompasses the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote Core study sites and falls along the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both sites are subject to intensive research activity, including NPP measurement, phenology observation, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are drought rain-out shelters in both the Black Grama and Creosote sites, as well as the mixed-ecotone, with co-located ET Towers.Vegetation: The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosotebush overstory with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (O. macrocentra) and soapweed yucca as notable shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous dense grass dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama site and the relatively recent appearance of creosotebush. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bush muhly (M. porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forb species include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.). Five Points Black Grama habitat is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. There is also a significant presence of shrubs, particularly broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), along with less abundant fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), club cholla (O. clavata), desert pricklypear (O. phaeacantha), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), and what are presumed to be encroaching, yet sparsely distributed, creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda). Spike, sand, and mesa dropseed grasses (Sporobolus contractus, S. cryptandrus, S. flexuosus) and sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola) could be considered co-dominant throughout, along with blue grama (B. gracilis) in a more mesic, shallow swale on the site. Notable forb species include trailing four o’clock (Allionia incarnata), horn loco milkvetch (Astragalus missouriensis), sawtooth spurge (Chamaesyce serrula), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), blunt tansymustard (Descarania obtusa), wooly plaintain (Plantago patagonica), globemallow (Sphaeralcea wrightii), and mouse ear (Tidestromia lanuginosa)., siteid: 2Location: Deep Well is located on McKenzie Flats and is site of the longest running SEV LTER met station, number 40, which has been active since 1988. In addition to studies of meteorological variables, core line-intercept vegetation transects and line-intercept transects from the 1995 and 2001 Deep Well fires are sampled here. The mini-rhizotron study, blue and black grama compositional comparison, blue and black grama patch dynamics investigation, and kangaroo rat population assessement are all ongoing here. Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed is also the location of the warming and monsoon experiments, as well as portions of the line-intercept and vegetation removal studies. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the area of Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed. While portions of this site were burned, the entirety was not. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the fire.Vegetation: The vegetation of Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed is Chihuahuan Desert Grassland, dominated by black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) and blue grama (B. gracilis). Other grasses found at the site include dropseeds (Sporobolus spp.) and threeawns (Aristida spp.). Shrubs are uncommon but those that occur include Yucca glauca, Ephedra torreyi, and four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens). Herbaceous plants include Plantago purshii, Hymenopappus filifolius, and globe mallows (Sphaeralcea spp.). , Location: South Gate is the major entry point onto the southeast side of the Sevilleta NWR. Just north of the gate is Met Station 41. Research here has included a Gunnison's prairie dog reintroduction as well as re-sampling of historic BLM 1976 vegetation transects, and juniper-creosote distribution. Vegetation is highly impacted by historical cattle grazing and is sparse. Burro grass (Scleropogon brevifolius) is dominant.siteid: 11Location: The Cerro Montosa Pinyon-Juniper site has been the location of major Sevilleta LTER research since 1989. Meteorological trends, net primary productivity, rodent and ground-dwelling arthropod populations, mycorrhizal responses to fertilizer, pinyon-juniper fruit and nut production, and pinyon mortality are all being investigated at this site. Previous studies have included analyses of pinyon tree rings for regional climate reconstruction.Vegetation: The vegetation is New Mexico Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, dominated by Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), and accompanied by gray oak (Quercus grisea). There is a diverse shrub component, including scrub live oak (Q. turbinella), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus), broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa), red barberry (Mahonia haematocarpa), Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), skunkbush (Rhus trilobata), and banana yucca (Yucca baccata). Grass diversity is also high, and open spaces between trees are dominated by blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), with hairy and sideoats grama (B. hirsuta and B. curtipendula) and black grama (B. eriopoda) also being significant. Other common grasses include purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea), wolftail (Lycurus phleoides), mountain and ring muhly (M. montanus and M. torreyi), and New Mexican porcupinegrass (Heterostipa neomexicana). Common forbs include small-flowered milkvetch (Astragalus nuttallianus), white sagebrush (Artemesia ludoviciana), Fendler’s arabis (Arabis fendleri), Fendler’s sandmat (Chamaesyce fendleri), New Mexico thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum), false pennyroyal (Hedeoma oblongifolia), bastard sage (Eriogonum wrightii), pingüe rubberweed (Hymenoxys richardsonii), large four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora), Fendler's penstemon (Penstemon fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea hastulata and S. wrightii). , Location: Sampling areas are located on both sides of the dirt road through the cattle pasture as well as inside the Sevilleta NWR just west of the Los Pinos Mountains.Vegetation: Desert grassland., History: Cattle pastures are currently grazed; exclosures added in 1993., siteid: 26Location: Sepultura Canyon is one of the largest ravines coming down from the Los Pinos Mountains to McKenzie Flats. Originally a core site, rodent webs and vegetation line-intersept transects were located in Sepultura Canyon through 1992, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service established the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in the area.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as juniper-savanna with arroyo-riparian species., siteid: 5Location: The Blue Grama core site is one of five core SEV LTER study sites. Meteorological trends, rodent abundance, pollinator diversity, phenology, and NPP are all being investigated. Additional studies have examined the Bootleg Canyon fire of 1998 and subsequent effects on the patch dynamics of grasses.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as Plains-Mesa Grassland, dominated by blue and black grama (Bouteloua gracilis and B. eriopoda) and galleta grass (Pleuraphis jamesii). , Location: Bronco Well is located near the northern boundary of the Sevilleta NWR, approximately four miles west of the ATandT on the road to Red Tank.siteid: 14Location: Ladron Foothills sites include Red Tank and Two-22 in the foothills of the Sierra Ladrones on the West side of the refuge.Soils: Soils in the Arroyo Riparian area are loose granitic gravel with many rocks and boulders., Vegetation: Two-22 site is characterized as Juniper Savanna/Arroyo Riparian (Dick-Peddie 1993). Two-22 trapping webs span 2 two vegetation types. The upland Juniper Savanna portion of the site is dominated by widely scattered, relatively small stature one-seed Juniper. Other shrubs are sparse, including scrub liveoak, skunkbush, tree cholla, pricklypear, and banana and soapweed yucca. Rocky open spaces are dominated by black, hairy, and blue grama. The lower Arroyo Riparian area consists of a more dense, more diverse vegetation, dominated by large specimens of scrub liveoak, one-seed juniper and Apache plume, as well as tree cholla, Engelman cholla (O. engelmanii), pricklypear, broom snakeweed, tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus), sacahuista, chamisa (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), fourwing saltbush, wolfberry (Lycium pallidum), and skunkbush. Grass diversity is relatively high and dominated by blue grama and bush muhly., Location: This site is located in the foothills of the Sierra Ladrones on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR. Red Tank is a man-made earthen drainage pool and is the location of Met Station 43. Research conducted at the site includes soil moisture and erosion studies related to the Sierra Ladrone watershed project.Vegetation: The woody vegetation in this stream bed includes juniper (Juniperus monosperma), Brickellia californica, Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa). On the hills are Junipers and shrubs such as cane cholla (Opuntia imbricata), beargrass (Nolina microcarpa), and Oreganillo (Aloysia wrightii). The herbs in the washes include Lesquerella ovalifolia, and Mirabilis multiflora. The grasses found at this site include three-awn (Aristida sp.), fluff-grass Erioneuron pulchellum, and four species of grama grass (Bouteloua spp.). , siteid: 12Location: The Black Butte Mixed Grass site is located just inside the gate and to the south of Black Butte. This site is grassland, characterized by Oryzopsis hymenoides, Sporobolus giganteus, Sporobolus flexuosus, Bouteloua eriopoda, and occasional shrubs, including Gutierrezia sarothrae and Yucca glauca. Forbs include Senecio douglasii, Baileyi multiradiata, and Sphaeralcea spp. This site contains the fertilizer study plots, which are located less than one mile from the Black Butte gate on the east side of the road to Five Points.Landform: Basalt formation., Vegetation: Grasses include blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), black grama (B. eriopoda), galleta grass (Pleuraphis jamesii), dropseed (Sporobolus spp.), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), and burro grass (Scleropogon brevifolius). Creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) also occurs frequently. , siteid: 47Location: Valle de la Joya is south of Palo Duro Canyon, beyond Five Points and McKenzie Flats. Research in the area has included vegetation line-intercept transects and a re-sampling of historic Bureau of Land Management vegetation transects.Vegetation: Vegetation at this site is highly variable, ranging from arroyo-riparian to Chihuahuan Desert scrub., Location: The Goat Draw Juniper Savanna Core Site was established in 1998 in order to provide data at the lower end of the transition from the Pinon-Juniper Woodland habitat at the Cerro Montoso site to Juniper Savanna.Vegetation: While the site is positioned between two ridgelines, the vegetation is best characterized as Juniper Savanna, dominated by one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), scrub liveoak (Quercus turbinella), and grama grasses (Bouteloua curtipendula, B. gracilis, B. eriopoda, and B. hirsuta), with scattered Colorado pinyon pine trees (Pinus edulis) in the upper reaches. There is also a significant influence of Arroyo Riparian vegetation in the main arroyo, Goat Draw, and its tributaries., siteid: 39Location: Palo Duro Canyon is south of Five-Points and McKenzie Flats. Research in the area has included core vegetation line-intercept transects, re-sampling historic BLM vegetation transects, paleoecological studies of packrat middens, vegetation monitoring of the northern-most ocotillo population, and, most recently, the Very Large Moisture Array. A posrtion of the bird community assessment project was also located here.Vegetation: Vegetation is highly variable ranging from Arroyo riparian to Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, Location: The UNM Field Station and USFandWS Headquarters are the primary support facilities for all research conducted on the Sevilleta NWR. As such the area has also been important as a research site - especially as regards meteorology and monitoring of rodent populations for Hantavirus. While the breaks above and behind are characterized as black grama dominated desert grassland, the immediate area around the Field Station is best described as an ecotonal mixture of Plains-Mesa Sand Scrub and Great Basin Scrub vegetaion greatly influenced by honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and the drainages which bisect the area at regular intervals and support many one-seed Junipers (Juniperus monosperma). Dominant grasses include 4 species of dropseed (Sporobolis contractus, S. cryptandrus, S. flexuosus and S. airoides) and indian rice grass (Oryzopsis hymenoides)Location: The Rio Salado is an ephemeral tributary of the Rio Grande on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR, flowing west by northwest to east by southeast. Rio Salado Grassland and Rio Salado Larrea are two study sites established in 1989. These sites were established as counterparts to sites at Five Points. Between 1989 and 1998, vegetation, litter decomposition, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent populations were studied at both sites. Core studies at these sites were largely terminated in 1998, although rodent populations are still monitored at the Rio Salado Larrea site because the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location Met Station 44.The Rio Salado study sites are accessed by taking the San Acacia exit, going west and then taking the frontage road back north to the Sevilleta NWR gate. After entering the refuge turn left after 0.2 mi and take this road 1.4 mi to a "T" in the road at the power lines. An earthen berm stops road travel here and the met station is located about 300 m west on the blocked road. Vegetation: The Rio Salado Larrea site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by creosotebush (Larrea tridentata), with honey mesquite, fourwing saltbush, purple pricklypear (O. macrocentra), and broom snakeweed as co-occurring shrubs. Dominant grasses are black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), and fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum). Common forb species include desert holly (Acourtia nana), spectaclepod (Dimorphocarpa spp.), blackfoot daisey (Melampodium leucanthum), twinleaf (Senna bauhinoides), globemallow (Sphaeralcea wrightii), and plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala). While individual creosote bushes tend to be larger, overall plant cover is less than at the creosote core site at Five Points, with more exposed embedded stones and gravel on the soil surface, creating a pavement-like appearance., Location: West Mesa is an elevated Pinyon-Juniper Woodland in the far southwest corner of the Sevilleta NWR. Research at the site includes pinyon-juniper fruit and nut production and juniper-creosote distribution.Location: A tipping-bucket precipitation gauge and Hobo datalogger (#340913) have been installed at this location to continuously measure rainfall.



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